What Are The Best Basketball Shoes?

What Are The Best Basketball Shoes?

Of all existing sports, none depend on shoes like basketball. As important as skills are, the shoes you have on will affect your play to a large extent.

So, that raises the question, what are the best basketball sneakers in the market? In this article, we’ll be giving a detailed answer to this question.

What Are The Best Basketball Shoes?
Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

Now, when it comes to basketball shoes, it is hard to say one is the best for everyone. The best basketball shoe is determined by the position you play on the court.

There are three basic types of basketball sneakers and they all perform best under different conditions. The three types of basketball shoes are; Low-tops, Mid-tops, and High-tops.

Low-tops, Mid-tops, High-tops

Just before we get into the rankings and ratings of the top basketball shoes, let us first do a brief breakdown of the shoe types. This will be your guide to help you know what exactly you should be looking for.


Low-tops are the least popular basketball shoes on the court. However, they are designed to aid running and making sharp cuts.

If you are a guard, then, low-tops are the type of shoes you ought to be looking for.


Low-tops are the lightest basketball shoes in the market. This means that it will make a perfect fit for someone who plays with agility and sharp movements.

Low-tops make it easier to perform these movements.


As the name implies, these are in the middle of the basketball shoe style chart. They are in between the low and high tops.

Mid-tops can be defined as providing a blend of mobility and support. They make the perfect fit for players who still need their speed, but also move forward to take shots.

So, if you play as a shooting guard or you are a small forward, then, the mid-top shoe styles will work for you.


The high-tops definitely need no introduction. High-tops are seen as the standard for basketball shoes, however, they are also designed for specific players.

If you are on of the guys on the court who mainly do the rebounding and hoop control, you need high tops. So, basically, the high-top  shoes are designed for centers and forwards.

High-tops have extra leg support and padding. These features absorb the shock that comes from the constant jumping which is common with the positions you play.

What Are The Best Low-Top Basketball Shoes?

Now, let us take a look at a list of the best recommended low-top basketball shoes.

1. Air Jordan XI Retro

It is almost impossible to talk about basketball sneakers without mentioning Air Jordans. Most of the best and popular basketball shoes are Air Jordans. Which is why for the low-top style, the first on our list is the Air Jordan XI Retro.

Do you need a retro style toplow that has a secure fit, comfortable full length air cushion, and great traction? Then, look no further, the Air Jordans XI offers all that.

Jordan Air 11 XI Retro Bred Men's Basketball Shoes Black/Varsity Red/White Black/Red/White 378037-010-11

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2. Adidas Harden Volume 3

What do you get when you combine arguably one of the world’s best shooting guards and a top shoe brand? The answer is simple, great shoes!

The Adidas Harden Volume 3 has grown to become one of the best releases in the James Harden shoe line.

If you are playing on dusty grounds, it’s nothing to worry about with these shoes. This particular one in the James Harden signature line is designed with the traditional herringbone traction pattern. Thanks to that, these shoes will do fine under any circumstance.

These shoes also have a boost cushioning that is quite low. This means that if you need comfort and responsiveness, these will make a great choice for you.

Looking at the materials used for this shoe, we are happy to say that it offers a premium feel and comfort. So, you are fine.

adidas Harden Vol. 3 Shoes Men's, Black, Size 14

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3. Adidas Performance Crazylight Boost

This is another pretty attractive pair of basketball shoes. Adidas as a brand needs no introduction in this space.

However, these shoes aren’t second on the list just because of looks. They also create a great feel for your feet.

It is quite obvious that Adidas put a lot of thought and work into this one. Although being a low-top shoe, the design of this allows it absorb the shocks from jumping and running.

The Crazylight Boost offers a lot of advantages, the most notable one being comfort to players. This shoe is designed to hug the player’s feet. It has textile linings that keep the shoe clutching to your feet.

Also, this gorgeous Adidas creation has a material called TPU that offers you that extra stability. The rubber outsole is an assurance that the sneakers will last long – whether they are used rigorously or not.

4. Nike Zoom

The Nike zoom series is one that dominates the low-tops space, which is why it gets special recognition in this article.

a. Nike Zoom KD 9

If support is what you are looking out for, then the Nike Zoom KD 9 by Kevin Durant ought to be on your list.

This shoe makes use of flyknit yarn as its support. So, even during the most intense games where you are doing a lot of running, this shoe offers very good support.

Also, if you do a lot of jumping, here’s some good news; these shoes have an insurance policy for that.

These footies come with a Zoom air cushioning which offers much needed comfort while playing.

The KD 9 is designed to keep your feet safe through the toughest of games. It also has a very durable design, so, you can be sure that this shoe will last you a long time.

The Nike Zoom KD 9 is also a pretty lightweight shoe, so, you can be sure that it will not weigh you down in any way.

b. Nike Zoom Kobe IV

The next Nike Zoom basketball shoes on our low-tops list is the Nike zoom Kobe IV. Apart from the fact that these shoes are from a signature line, they offer great features for a guard.

Every point guard needs proper fit and traction, and this is what the Nike Zoom Kobe IV offers.

The only downside with these is that the forefoot cushion doesn’t last very long. However, the Nike Zoom Kobe IV is fitted with luma foam, which adds that custom feel anytime you put it on.

Nike Kobe IV Protro (Wizenard)

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c. Nike Zoom Kobe V

This is the final Nike Zoom basketball shoe we’ll be discussing today. It is coming last, but, it is definitely not the least on this list.

When it comes to fitting, no basketball shoe does it better than the Nike Zoom Kobe V. When you check the fit, cushion (both forefoot and heel), you’ll see that this one doesn’t miss out in them.

The only thing about the Kobe V that we aren’t too happy about is its traction abilities.

This particular Nike Zoom might not provide the best traction on certain grounds. Minus that, if you play on well-kept indoor floors, you’ll be satisfied with these shoes.

Which Are The Best Mid-Top Basketball Shoes?

Now, we are moving to another segment of this best basketball shoes buying guide. We’ll now be looking at the best mid-top basketball shoes.

1. Adidas Explosive Bounce

If you have ever heard of “budget team shoes”, this is a line of shoes that comes up almost everytime it is mentioned.

The Explosive Bounce is a whole line of shoes from Adidas. You are probably wondering why we didn’t just mention one or two. Well, that’s because it would take a whole lot of time to do that, since, all the shoes in the line are good.

The Adidas Explosive Bounce line of shoes are one of the best mid-top releases in the market.

They offer great fit, support and stability, traction, and most importantly, cushioning.

One notable feature of this line is the molded heel in its design. This gives you extra support when you have to speed past defenses.

2. Nike Air Jordan XI

Yes, another pair of Air Jordans making the list again. The Nike Air Jordans XI has proven itself to be one of the top basketball shoes ever designed.

This Air Jordan incorporated a design feature that had never been seen before. The mudguard of this shoe was designed with patent leather. It was the first basketball shoe to have such.

A leather mudguard isn’t all this basketball shoe has to offer, it also has other mouthwatering features.

The Nike Air Jordan XI has a translucent sole, which is usually seen as traction problem in dusty situations.

However, it has solid rubber traction pods fixed at the heel and forefoot. This simply means you don’t have to worry about poor traction on dusty court floors.

3. Nike Kyrie 4

It is said that Kyrie Irving has been one most challenging players to design for. The lead designer of this shoe said that every time a new design was pitched, Kyrie would always ask the same question; “is this shoe going to make me better?”

Now, considering that the Nike Kyrie was designed for such a player, you can understand why it deserves to be on the best basketball shoes list.

Thanks to the traction pattern on it, this shoe is sure to perform excellently traction-wise. This shoe also offers very effective cushioning.

Nike Kids Kyrie 4 (GS) Tropical Twist/Metallic Silver Basketball Shoe 7 Kids US

Click here to check this out and buy on Amazon.

What Are The Best High-top Basketball Shoes?

Finally, let us take a look at some of the best high-top basketball shoes.

1. Nike Lebron Soldier IX

When you add the best support and effective cushioning at a very affordable price, the result you will get is a Nike Lebron Soldier IX.

Although, being about 5 years old, it still comes up as a strong competition for a lot of shoes in the high-tops section.

This shoe is designed with a zoom air cushioning setup. This ensures you ease with making bursts of speed while playing.

As for comfort, the design of the upper of this shoe is made of a soft mesh. Nothing feels better on your feet than mesh, and for the Nike Lebron Soldier IX, it doesn’t fall short.

As for cushioning, it isn’t the best in the world, but still, it will do just enough for you.

The best thing about this shoe is the support it offers. The straps are designed to wrap around the whole shoe creating wonderful support for your ankle.

The only issue with this shoe is that the straps are not adjustable, this means that it may be either too loose or too tight. Well, we guess in this case, the laces can come to the rescue.

2. Nike Hyperposite 2

When it comes to stability, you can be sure that this shoe will serve you well. It is designed with a 360 full length zoom air cushioning; it literally doesn’t get better than that.

Being a high-top means that this shoe obviously provides great ankle support.

The one downside with this shoe — which is somewhat subjective — is with its traction. The traction of this shoe has a great grip, however, it makes it quite difficult to flex.

This is bad news if you are the kind of player that performs curls, cuts, and requires constant mobility. These shoes might give you quite a challenge to do all that.

3. Nike Kobe IX Elite

Finally, we look at what we dare say is everyone’s favorite basketball shoes. This shoe has a carbon fibre plate heel. This offers the player a great deal of support.

Also, it has a TPU heel counter, a flat outsole, and a really high ankle support.

The Kobe IX Elite also makes some history of its own. These shoes were the first time Nike tried out the Flyknit material. You can already guess the fantastic result that went on to produce.

NIKE Mens Kobe IX Elite Flyknit Restored Victory High Basketball Shoes Sz 17

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Whether you are a point guard, center player, forward, or even a shooting guard, there is a pair of basketball shoes specifically for you. This is why we have taken our time to breakdown all the shoe types and the best in each category.

By now, we believe you can already tell what the best basketball shoes are. Most importantly for us, you can now decide what basketball shoe is best for you no matter the position you play.

Whatever you do, make sure that the shoes you purchase will fit every rule.

Well, if you think your favorite basketball shoes weren’t featured in this article, drop a comment below and tell us why you think they should be in this list.

Anyway, if you are having a bit of a challenge finding where to buy basketball shoes, check this article here, it’ll help a lot.

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